Watch as we get the first ride on the QLINE through Detroit

Posted at 7:03 PM, Apr 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-27 20:20:51-04

For Marcus Stewart, a native Detroiter and 30-year veteran bus driver, it's been a long time coming.

Stewart says it's been 60 years since light rail was in Detroit, and it's an honor for him to take part in the rebirth.

The QLINE is blazing a new trail in the Motor City and he was the driver for this historic first ride down Woodward with the rail full of dignitaries, politicians and business leaders.

Visionary Roger Penske, who brought back the Grand Prix and has devoted his life to Detroit, is the Chairman of the M1 Rail.

Penske says, he loves Detroit and has seen the fall and now the rise, and he and his family are happy to be taking part in the renaissance of Detroit because it's important to give back.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Gov. Rick Snyder were both on board with us for this exclusive first spin.

Snyder says it's amazing to think it's been 60 years since we've had light rail in Detroit and it will mean so much to the growth in Midtown and Downtown and all of southeastern Michigan and the region.

Duggan says having light rail back in Detroit is already paying off with new businesses going up and a brand new housing complex where residents will benefit from having accessible transportation right at their doorsteps.

Rip Rapson of the Kresge Foundation was with Penske at the very beginning when this was just an idea in 2006.

Rapson says, he did not expect is to take this long to get the QLINE up and running , that the Kresge Foundation was committed from the very beginning. They gave $50 million in seed money to get the $142 million project off the ground through public and private partnership dollars.

Business leaders along the QLINE are hopeful that this new transportation will turn into dollars and bring more people to their doors.

Carina Jackson, the COO of the Mariner's Inn is happy her male clients will have easy and accessible transportation to work, school, and all around the Motor City.

Rachel Lutz, who owns two businesses in Detroit including the Peacock Room, says it was tough waiting on the three years of construction to finish for the QLINE, but believes it will now pay off with more people coming to her businesses.

Speed of the Q Line tops at 35 mph. There are 120 stops along the rail with 12 stations where passengers can hop on board and ride. It will cost $1.50 to ride for three hours and $3.00 to ride all day long.

For Marcus and all on board this historic trip down Woodward, this first ride marks a journey of where Detroit is to where Detroit wants to be in the near future.